The 8 Most Realistic Fishing Games To Play in 2024


There’s something about the calm and serenity of fishing that just brings peace to the soul. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy for most people to find a fishing spot, but with the miracle of technology, games are catching up to the real thing.

Modern gaming has some great fishing sims, and a few other AAA titles have surprisingly deep fishing systems (in shallow water, of course). 

We’ve picked out eight games that either give the great excitement of angling a big one or just the zen of waiting for a nibble. Unlike a lot of the older fishing games, these have reached a point where realism can come into play. Many of these games offer multiple options for anglers, from changing bait and rod to string tension.

Of course, a couple of suggestions also include more… explosive ways of catching fish than the others. The only thing keeping some of these games short of total realism is the feel of bait and scales. 

Alright, time to bait the hook and cast out because these realistic fishing games are much deeper than anyone expects.

8. Fishing: North Atlantic

Fishing North Atlantic

It’s not what you think about when you think ‘fishing sim’, but that’s because Fishing: North Atlantic gives a look at the other side. There isn’t just the fishing sim aspect to it, but an entire career/business simulator as you build a commercial fishing empire from the bottom up.

Start off with the most unreliable, falling-apart ship you can scrape together to buy and go out to chase fortune off the coast of Northern Canada. 

To be brutally honest, this one isn’t for players who want to just sit back with a rod and reel. Fishing: North Atlantic gets cut-throat quickly, and keeping up with quotas, profit margins, and ship/crew maintenance gets overwhelming during later game. 

If you’re looking for fishing variety, though, this is your jam. There are six different ports, different fishing types like harpooning and net trawlers, plus different weather cycles to make things interesting. Most of the fish have to be tracked with GPS and sonar, adding to the realism.

Just look out for storms coming in because they won’t hesitate to destroy your career in just a few hours.

Play on: Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch, PC

7. Fishing Planet

Fishing Planet

Probably the most accessible game on the list since it’s free to play, but Fishing Planet is surprisingly in-depth. Hundreds of different fish, rods, lures, and bait, along with plenty of different locations, each with their own specific ecosystem.

Honestly, if it was a normal ‘one-time cost’ game, it would have a much better reception and player base. That said, the free-to-play model comes with the same curse every game with this model gets–The grind.

The grind kind of heightens the realism, though, especially when it comes to the slower fishing spots. You’ll sit by a lake, stream, or deep in the ocean, just waiting to see ripples on the water. By the end, though, if you’ve used the right bait and tackles combo, you’ll manage to nab a massive catch.

Fair warning: the menu and user interface outside of the fishing sections are frustrating. It’s not anything that absolutely breaks the experience, but it can be a pain when Fishing Planet takes more time to go through menus than it does to catch a fish.

Play on: Xbox One, PS4, Android, PC

6. Euro Fishing

Euro Fishing

Beautiful fishing spots are the real draw of Euro Fishing, taking six different lakes from around the European countryside to cast into. The casting in this game is the neat part, with a full physics engine built from the ground up.

Every rod, tackle, and string used is customizable, and every different combo is going to get a different type of fish. It’s an exciting system that hasn’t really been implemented since Euro Fishing, which is a shame. 

The game does get a little repetitive after a while despite the huge variety of fish. The problem is the difficulty, though. If you want the real frustration of having a whopper on the end of your line just to lose it at the last second, it won’t get more realistic than Euro Fishing.

Not everyone can be a winner, though, and it makes it even more satisfying to go back in and catch the one that got away. Until they get away five more times.

Play on: Xbox One, PS4, PC

5. Far Cry 5/Far Cry 6

Far Cry 6

Okay, so fishing isn’t the central point of either Far Cry game here, but the fishing systems are surprisingly in-depth. Far Cry 3 was the first one to add fishing, and it’s definitely come a long way since then.

Whereas it used to be a relatively easy QTE minigame, Far Cry 5 took it up a notch with new reel options, while Far Cry 6 adds bait, tackle, and different rod upgrades.

Look, is it the most fishing-central game to play out there? Absolutely not, but if you enjoy breaking up your revolutionary plots with a little peaceful lake time, these are for you. The most recent iteration even boosted the types of fish in the game, with dozens of different ones to collect and daily bounties for various fish.

Fun Fact: Fishing is much easier when using military-grade explosives. Results may vary.

Play on: Xbox One, PS4, PC

4. The Catch: Carp and Coarse

The Catch Carp and Coarse

Want to take a more arcade-style approach to fishing instead of just casting a line? The Catch: Carp and Coarse is the best one out there.

It doesn’t have the most diverse roster of species, with only thirty-five unique fish, each with its own mission. Each level is more of a hunt than anything, making you use the right bait/tackle combo to lure in whichever fish is required for that level.

Another really fun aspect that sets The Catch: Carp and Coarse apart is that it includes boss levels. No, you’re not gunning down a fish Resident Evil style, but instead, the fish has a heightened difficulty level. It makes sure you’re on your toes the whole time instead of just getting bored with the ho-hum bait and cast cycle.

Play on: Xbox One, PS4, PC

3. Red Dead Redemption 2

Red Dead Redemption 2

Rootin’, tootin’, cowboy shootin’… and anglin’, if you feel like it. Seriously, Rockstar went all out with this game, and Red Dead Redemption 2 has one of the best fishing systems of any game.

Is it realistic by modern standards? Absolutely not, but it’s a nice simulation of what went into turn-of-the-century fishing as opposed to the others on this list. Fishing is available in both the story mode and online, but the quests and bounties in the game are where the real fun comes in.

For the completionist inside all of us, Red Dead Redemption 2 gives more than its face value. Fish all over, whether it be in rivers, lakes, or just small ponds. Plenty of different fish types, all requiring some serious skill to angle in with the game mechanics, make it both difficult and rewarding to finally get that Platinum or Diamond Achievement.

Play on: Xbox One, PS4, PC

2. Fishing Sim World: Pro Tour

Fishing Sim World Pro Tour

These last two are for the actual fishermen who just can’t get to the water. Fishing Sim World: Pro Tour is for the more competitive fisherman, though, and it brings the difficulty factor.

The game wasn’t great on release, but the Pro Tour update back in 2019 really changed things up with partnerships with real pros, brands, and tournaments. This game is actually about testing your skills against the others, and you’re going to need the patience of a saint to do it.

If there’s one thing that Fishing Sim World: Pro Tour is great at, it’s testing the zen of an angler. A lot of days fishing will be spent sitting or standing out by one of the lakes, rivers, or even deep oceans in this game, and it’s going to take time to catch one that will win the tournament mode.

Pro Tour has an interesting variety of fishing spots as well, including canals and urban rivers, among other places.

Play on: Xbox One, PS4, PC

1. Ultimate Fishing Sim 2

Ultimate Fishing Sim 2

Probably the newest game on this list, Ultimate Fishing Sim 2 just came out of early access in 2023. It’s still adding in updates, too, expanding on the original roster of over sixty fish and a variety of fishing styles to use with it.

While the game doesn’t have the most realistic-looking human graphics (it is a fish sim), you can tell that a lot of effort went into the water and fish themselves. Water splashes look really nice, especially when pulling a big one out of the water.

The variety of fishing styles is the big selling point. Deepwater, fly fishing, and just regular floaters are all available alongside more options for plenty of different playstyles.

Again, this one is still in the beginning stages, but with how many updates the previous game received, Ultimate Fishing Sim 2 has a long life ahead.

Play on: PC

Final Words

So, what are you waiting for? Even if the weather isn’t working out for you, these sims and games give plenty of options for sitting inside and casting a line.

So, grab a controller, a drink, and maybe some bug spray, just in case, and dive into one (or all) of these fishing games!

About Richard Gamin 237 Articles
My name's Richard and over the years, I have personally built many PCs for myself and my friends. I love gaming, programming, graphics designing and basically anything that has to do with computers and technology. If you ever need a hand with anything, feel free to contact me and I will be more than happy to help you out.

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